January 16, 2013 by Nash Riggins
Right-wing pundits are up in arms over Barack Obama’s latest attempt to ‘destroy freedom’ in America by way of establishing a liberal dictatorship – and their complaints are just as hypocritical as they are nonsensical.
The moaning began when US Congressional Representative Jose Serrano (D-NY) opted to continue his yearly tradition of proposing a legislative repeal of the 22ndAmendment – the Constitutional clause that stipulates a US President can serve no more than 2 terms in office – via House Joint Resolution 15. Conservatives nationwide immediately erupted in fury, claiming the move is proof that President Obama wishes to implement a so-called “Imperial Presidency” in America. These claims are childish at best – why?
First and foremost, it may interest them to know that Mr Serrano has reportedly been pushing this very same proposal every year since 2001, during which time a very different ‘dictator’ was sitting in the White House. As a result, any claims that HJR-15 is a liberal weapon of mass destruction should be pegged as mere rabble-rousing. In fact, the half-baked ideology behind this proposal has nothing to do with individualistic political gain, but more a collective sense of personal entitlement.
Indeed, the movement itself dates all the way back to the Reagan-era (God knows how much Fox News would have loved the anti-Communist crusader to have served until death). Unsurprisingly, Reagan himself supported the idea of eliminating a cap on presidential terms, rationalising that the 22nd Amendment “is an insult to American voters who are wise and well-informed”, as it ultimately limits an American’s freedom to vote for their true candidate of choice. Subsequent pushes for the repeal of this Constitutional ‘cap on freedom’ took place during the administrations of both Bushes Junior and Senior, and justifiably failed to gather any substantial momentum in Congress.
On the one hand, it can be argued that President Reagan and his ideological successors did have a fair point: the 22nd Amendment does indeed marginalise the freedom of Americans; however, the Amendment should never be repealed – and anyone who argues otherwise is not speaking out in the name of freedom, but in the name of mere selfishness. After all, the long-term continuity of America’s policy-agenda cannot be considered a product of true democracy unless it has been successfully and repeatedly implemented by opposing political ideologies. Indeed, said continuity across opposing administrations effectively ensures that the legislative foundations of government work for everyone in society, rather than just a slim majority.
2012’s right-wing sore losers are undeniably correct in their assertions that the 22nd Amendment should never be repealed – and if the movement’s track record is any clear indicator of its future, logic dictates that the presidency’s current 2-term limit is completely safe from harm. Yet the simultaneous allegations that Jose Serrano is some sort of slave to Barack Obama’s socialist treachery are completely irrational. This idea has nothing to do with bipartisan politics, and has been around a lot longer than Mr Obama – who has never voiced any support whatsoever for the movement.
Besides, by 2016 a very weary President Obama will be so sick of the unresolved crises with which he inherited that there will be no chance in Hell he would ever consider running for a 3rd term as America’s President. If nothing else, perhaps whiny conservatives would do well to count their blessings, and let this one go.